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Fishing the North Coast, August 18 Rockfish bite hot, halibut slows off Eureka; Klamath River action heats up


By Kenny Priest

After a summer full of wind and rough seas, the ocean along the North Coast turned into a lake over the weekend, allowing boats of all shapes and sizes to hit the open seas. And what they found was plenty of fish to go around. The tuna hunters, who’ve been chomping at the bit for a couple months, were able to run offshore to where the warm water lies. Boats out of Fort Bragg and Shelter Cove found a good albacore bite 30 to 40 miles west, while the Crescent City fleet found the albies 45 to 60 miles straight out on Monday and Tuesday. Boats that made the run south to the Cape were greeted by loads of hungry rockfish, as well as a few halibut.


Eric Banko of Cutten holds a 33 lb Chinook salmon he landed last Sunday out of Eureka. Eric was fishing just north of the stacks in 190 feet of water with a flasher and sardine when the big fish hit.
Photo courtesy of Mike Earhart

There were a few salmon caught out of Eureka over the weekend, but no big numbers were reported. However, the fish that were caught were of quality size — in the 20 to 30 lb class.

Weekend Marine forecast

It appears the calm waters will give way this weekend as the swells are predicted to build on Thursday and gather steam through Saturday, then start to taper off on Sunday. Friday and Saturday we’re looking at swells NW six ft and WSW 1 ft, with wind waves one to two ft. Sunday is calling for swells four to five ft with wind waves one to two ft. The good news is the wind will be light, nothing greater than 10 knots is forecasted. For up-to-date weather forecasts, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/. You can also call the National Weather Service at (707) 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at (707) 443-6484.

CURE ROE LIKE THE PROS:

With the fall coastal river salmon season right around the corner, I asked a few of our local fishing guides to share their favorite roe cures for salmon. Here’s what they had to say.

Alan Borges of Alan’s Guide Service

www.alansguideservice.com, (707) 496-9074

“I have a couple different methods that work for me. After the skeins are thoroughly cleaned, I’ll wrap them in paper towels and leave in the fridge for 24 hours. This is the most important step of the process. Then I’ll use either Pro Glow or Pro-Cure and follow the instructions. I’ll also experiment with different scents, with sardine being one of my favorites for salmon. The other cure I use is an equal amount of borax and sugar. You want to make sure and get the mixture in all the folds. I leave them in the cure for 24 hours or two days at the most. Once done, I’ll shake off the excess cure and they’re ready to fish. For salmon, I like the eggs to be a little on the rubbery side.”

Mike Coopman of Mike Coopman’s Guide Service

www.mikecoopmansguideservice.com, (707) 465-1367

“I use what I call the 3-2-1 cure — made up of salt, sugar and Borax. I’ll first butterfly the skeins and then add a light coat of salt.  Next I’ll sprinkle on some sugar and a good coating of Pro Glow red cure. Finally, I’ll add a good amount of Borax. I’ll put the skeins in large glass jars and let sit for two to three days, turning the jar upside down every 24 hours. After the third day, I’ll either dry or fish them depending on my schedule. To dry the eggs, I’ll drip-dry them on racks for 30-60 minutes, then wrap the skeins in paper towels and place in Ziploc bags and put in the fridge.”

Brice Dusi of Brice Dusi's Fishing Guide Service

www.bricedusi.com, (707) 496-8295

“Curing roe for salmon I almost always use a commercial cure, either Pro Glo or Pro-Cure. My main color is red but sometimes I’ll change it up. Salmon seem to like the sodium sulfite cures more and red has always been the go to color. I always make sure the eggs are clean and try to get as much of the blood out of the veins as possible. First I butterfly the skeins open and if they’re big, I’ll cut up in smaller sizes. I’ll shake on the enough cure to cover the skeins thoroughly. I’ll then put the skeins in a jar or Ziploc bag and when the eggs start juicing up from the cure (1 to 2 hours), I’ll shake them up to move them around in the juice. If you want a firmer egg, you can pour some of the juice out. They should be ready to fish in a day.”

Steve Huber of Steve Huber’s Guide Service

www.stevehuberguideservice.com, (530) 623-1918

“I’ve had really good success with Pro-Cure’s Last Supper Coastal /Tidewater Double-Red formula. I first butterfly the skeins and then add a good coating of the cure, making sure to get in all the folds of the eggs. I’ll then put them in glass jars for two to three days until the juice is re-absorbed. Next I’ll put the skeins in large-mouth jars and stick them in the freezer for 24 hours. At this point they are ready to fish as is, or you can dry them with straight or colored borax, depending on what color you’re after. If I’m not going to use the eggs right away, I’ll vacuum seal them in the jars and stick them in the fridge.”

Tony Sepulveda of Green Water Fishing Adventures

www.greenwaterguides.com, (907) 841-5420
Ninety percent of the time I’ll use one of the sodium sulfite based cures, either Pro Glow or Pro-Cure. I first butterfly open the skeins using a butter knife, then with the butter knife I push out all the excess blood from the blood line. I’ll then sprinkle the cure over the eggs making sure it gets in all the folds. I then leave them to sit in their juices for 30 minutes in either a bowl or a Ziploc bag. Next I’ll take them out and place them egg-side down on paper towels for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes I’ll turn them over and let them dry until they’re tacky. This normally takes about four to six hours, depending on the temperature and humidity. Once dry, they are ready to fish.”

Mike Stratman of Redwood Coast Fishing

www.redwoodcoastfishing.com, (707) 476-9243

“After butterflying the skeins, I wrap the eggs in paper towels and leave them in the fridge overnight. This will remove most of the moisture. Next I’ll sprinkle on a 50-50 mixture of Borax and sugar, then I’ll mix in one of the commercial cures, Pro Glow, Pro-Cure, or Pautzke’s. Once I get a good coat on the eggs, I’ll put them in a gallon plastic container and put the lid on. I store the container in dark, cool spot, usually in the garage, until the juice is re-absorbed and the consistency is what I’m looking for.  At this point you can add scent to your eggs and they are ready to fish.”

Look for steelhead roe cures from these pros in next week’s “Fishing the North Coast”

The Oceans:

Eureka

Ocean conditions this weekend aren’t going to be quite as nice as the past few days, but should remain fishable according to Phil Pritting of Eureka’s Englund Marine. “The rockfish bite down at the Cape has been awesome this past week, with the weather finally allowing boats to make the trip. The halibut action slowed the last couple days and the fish are being taken in a little shallower water, 200-210 ft. The top bait is still the jumbo sardines, with the B2 Squid coming in a close second. There aren’t a lot of salmon being caught right now, but the fish that are coming in are big,” said Pritting. There’s been a pretty good halibut bite inside the bay according to John Corbett of Eureka’s Pro Sport Center. “I heard one of the top spots was between Indian and Woodley Islands. The channels in the North Bay were also productive last week. The redtail perch bite has been steady at the usual spots from Centerville Beach north to Gold Bluffs Beach. Guys are catching a nice grade of fish, especially around the river mouths,” Corbett added. Skipper Phil Glenn on the Shellback reported a red-hot rockfish bite last Friday and Monday at the Cape, with easy limits each trip. Glenn also reports the halibut bite has slowed out front, with one to two fish per trip. Skipper Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing took advantage of the flat ocean and spent quite a few days down south below the Cape where he was able to scratch out a few halibut along with full limits of quality rockfish, including Blacks, Coppers, Vermilions, and a few lings mixed in.

CrescentCity

The rock fishing is as good as it gets right now according to Chris Hegnes of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. “Boats are scoring easy limits and the ling cod have shown up as well. We’ve also had six or seven Pacific Halibut caught off the big reef in 70-90 ft of water. A few boats made the run for albacore on Monday and Tuesday and found good action straight out 45 to 60 miles,” Hegnes added.

Shelter Cove:

Russ Thomas of Mario’s Marina in Shelter Cove reports the tuna boats found a pretty good bite out 30-40 miles on Tuesday. “Just about every boat came back with fish, with about a 10 fish average per boat. There are still a few salmon being caught, with a few 30 pounders weighed in last week,” Thomas added

The Rivers:

Lower Klamath

The action isn’t red-hot, but it’s getting better everyday, according to Alan’s Guide Service. “We’re seeing fish in just about every hole from the Glen to Blue Creek. I did hear of a few more salmon caught by boats at the mouth on Tuesday, so that’s a good sign. The moss is also starting to thin out, so that should really improve the catch-rate. Red and natural colored roe have been the baits of choice,” Borges added.

Trinity

Rick Frederick of Hawkins Bar Mini Mart reports there are still a few fish around from Burnt Ranch to Junction City, but not any big numbers. At this point we’re waiting for the fall fish to arrive and they just aren’t here yet,” Frederick added.

Questions, comments, tips, and photos can be emailed to kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com


Fishing Reports

Plenty of angling options for holiday
Arcata resident Jenna Kennedy landed a nice pair of kings on Sunday while fishing out of Eureka aboard the Shellback with Capt. Tony Sepulveda. The salmon bite is heating up and the ocean should be plenty fishable for the Memorial holiday weekend. Photo courtesy of Green Water Fishing Adventures
Fishing the North Coast by Kenny Priest
05/21/15 -- For anglers across the North Coast, Memorial Day weekend provides an excellent opportunity to get out of the house and do a little fishing. With a multitude of choices on the table, the biggest decision might not be... Full Story
Free Kids Fish Day in Oroville May 30 05/21/15 -- Kiwanis of Oroville will host a Free Kids Fishing Derby for ages 12 and under on May 30 starting at 7 a.m. to noon at the Bedrock Park pond in Oroville, which is filled with huge catfish and steelhead.... Full Story
PG&E projects levels for Plumas Co. lakes 05/21/15 -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced today that Lake Almanor and Bucks Lake water levels are projected to be below normal this summer due to continued drought conditions. However, Bucks Lake... Full Story
Eagle Lake: Trout ready but ramp is risky By Val Aubrey, EagleLakeFishing.net
05/21/15 -- Eagle Lake fishing season begins Saturday May 23! We received little water over winter and the lake is only up a few inches from last fall. Only the low water ramp at Gallatin is open for use and at your own risk... Full Story
Summer pattern emerging at Lake Oroville
Lake Orovlle Bass, Craig Bentley
On Oroville Waters By Craig Bentley
05/20/15 -- Lake Oroville is going into its summer pattern a month early and irrigation releases have been cutback from Oroville Dam to the Feather River as shad and salmon arrive in the Oroville Wildlife Area. The viewing window at...Full Story
ODFW: Make trout fishing part of weekend 05/19/15 -- Trout fishing enthusiasts can spend their Memorial Day weekend exploring dozens of the state’s rivers and streams that open to trout fishing on Saturday, May 23. While many lakes and some rivers and streams... Full Story
John Day River opens to Chinook fishing 05/18/15 -- The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today that the upper John Day River will open for salmon fishing from May 20 through June 7, 2015. The river will be open for the 26 miles from the Hwy 207 bridge...Full Story
Grace Lake kids fishing day lots of fun
Eli Nix landed this nice rainbow trout while fishing the
By Mike Mogler
05/18/15 -- I was on hand or the “Kids Free Fishing Day” at Grace Lake on Saturday, May 16 with the hope of a great turn-out. I arrived at 9:45 a.m. shortly after the start of the registration. Kids and their parents crowded...Full Story
Salmon fishing improves off North Coast
Philip of Irvine displays his 17-lb king salmon taken on Sunday. Philip and his son Mike both got limits. Photo courtesy of Matt Dallam, skipper, Fishy Business, Northwind Charters, Eureka
By Frank Galusha
05/18/15 – More take downs, more fish per rod, a slightly larger grade of king salmon, scads of small to medium-size lingcod and the sighting of countless whales highlighted the weekend’s salmon fishing from Fort Bragg to Eureka... Full Story
It’s Kilarc Time Again
Most of the Feamster family enjoying the mass confusion of fishing together. The best part is no one stepped on the rod lying on the dirt.  Photo by John Higley
By John Higley
05/18/15 -- Last week a fellow diner at the Klassique Kafe in Redding overheard me talking to a friend about trout fishing. The diner, who is new to the area, asked point blank where he should go to catch a couple of trout... Full Story
The salmon are coming to Curry County
Dennis Haack and two friends, all from Klamath Falls tripped the rockfish fantastic on Thursday to nail 3 limits of black rockfish while fishing out of the Port of Brookings Harbor, Larry Ellis photo
On Oregon Waters by Larry Ellis
05/16/15 -- Last week, diminishing winds and calm seas allowed 52-degree water to inch its way closer to the Oregon and California coastline. The combination of a salmon’s ideal comfort zone combined with chlorophyll-rich...Full Story
Rockfish season off to great start
lingcod taken Saturday May 16 by Talib Murray while fishing with Capt. Jake Mitchell, Sea Hawk out of Shelter Cove.
By Frank Galusha
05/16/15 -- Limits of lingcod, mixed bags of rockfish and other assorted bottom-dwelling creatures marked the start of yesterday’s 2015 rockfish seasons from Fort Bragg, Shelter Cove, Eureka and Trinidad. No reports came from Crescent City... Full Story
Bucks lake giving up some nice fish
a man buncled up for gold weather, out on a boat in Bucks Lake, holding a largee fish
By Craig Bentley
05/13/15 -- Bucks Lake was giving up good numbers of nice fish last week to a few knowledgeable anglers that braved thundershowers and winds to get out on the lake fishing. Anthony Crawford of Chico and two... Full Story
ODFW trying to conserve redband trout 05/12/15 -- The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is soliciting public comment on a plan to protect and conserve two groups of redband trout in the remote areas of southeast Oregon.The redband trout of the Malheur Lakes and... Full Story
Salmon survival, but at what cost?
Juvenile salmon, photo courtesy of FISHBIO
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
05/12/15 -- Spring is a time for young salmon to migrate to the ocean – and an increasing number of them are making the trip by truck. Passage in the rivers can be full of hazards, from predators to poor water quality. To improve... Full Story
Hat Creek offering hit and miss fishing
a downed tree across hat creek, photo by Mike Mogler
Article and photo by Mike Mogler
05/09/15 -- Fishing has been a “hit and miss” scenario at Hat Creek as of late. Limits have been reported but some anglers have come-up empty handed while fishing the various areas CDFW plants on a regular basis. While I was...Full Story
Let’s clarify our new river-fishing regs
Dave Jacobs and Randy Warner with a 38 pound Sacramento River Fall-Run king salmon
In River Fishing News by Dave Jacobs
05/06/15 -- There is inevitably going to be some confusion whenever you have some new closures or any regulation changes to our salmon fishing on the Sacramento River or anywhere in Northern California. That is just... Full Story
How to make Tuscan Tuna Salad with Fennel By Frank Galusha
05/04/15 -- OK, you went ocean fishing. If your fish is fresh or if you have processed, vacuum packed and frozen your catch properly, there are many ways to enhance your meals. Almost everything taken from the ocean is not... Full Story
Pacific halibut 2015 regulations in effect
Angler with Pacific halibut, photo courtesy of CDFW
05/01/15 -- The recreational Pacific halibut fishery will open May 1 for the 2015 season. This year the fishery will be held to a federally established quota of 25,220 pounds. The season dates will be May 1-15, June 1-15, July 1-15, Aug. 1-15... Full Story
F&GC adopts in-river sport fishing regs 04/23/15 -- The California Fish and Game Commission adopted changes to the Central Valley and Klamath River basin salmon sport fishing regulations for the 2015 season on Friday, April 17. The changes include fall-run...Full Story
Big Chico Creek - Summer Survey 2.0
divers in water and man sitting on bank taking notes for Survey of Big Chico Creek, photo courtesy of FISHBIO
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
04/22/15 -- At FISHBIO, we believe in giving back to the waterways in our backyard. That's why we conducted a fish population survey in Big Chico Creek this past July for the second year running. Our 2014 effort expanded the geographic... Full Story
Factory rods vs. custom rods
Man fishing from boat, with C4 Custom Rod, photo by Jeff Goodwin
By Jeff Goodwin
04/21/15 -- In preparation for my spring rainbow trout season this year, I decided to change out my older rods for some new ones. As I searched for a rod that would fit my needs, I learned there just wasn't anything out there...Full Story
F&GC closes Sac River in Redding
Winter Run Chinook, photo courtesy of CDFW
04/18/15 -- Recommendations by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to provide dual areas of protection to Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon were approved by the state Fish and Game Commission on April 17... Full Story
OR DFW seeks help with stocking program 04/16/15 -- This year the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to stock 11,000 rainbow trout (including 3,000 of trophy size) in popular Lake of the Woods, and the agency would like anglers help in figuring out what...Full Story
Perch Fishing with Grandpa
By Bill Adelman
By Bill Adelman
04/15/15 -- Way, way back in the day, while experiencing my first panfish outings with my grandfather, he taught us, my cousin and I, ages 9, a secret system. Remember the pre-tied 6 pack of Eagle Claw bait hooks? The leader portion was... Full Story
The Uncertain Future of the Delta Smelt
Shimmering silver of a smelt, photo by FISHBIO
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
04/13/15 -- The lowest ever recorded index of abundance for delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) was reported earlier this year in the results from the 2014 California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Fall Midwater...Full Story
Only one Eagle Lake ramp to be open
 Eagle Lake low water ramp photo by Val Aubrey/EagleLakeFishing.net
By Val Aubrey, EagleLakeFishing.net
04/10/15 -- As you know the drought continues but it appears at least one ramp will be available for the opener on May 23rd. The one ramp to serve lake visitors is located at Gallatin Marina (Eagle Lake Marina) and is well...Full Story
Black Cod commercial fishing... what?
Black Cod or Sablefish
By Mike Mogler
03/21/15 -- A fishing buddy of mine, John D,  and I had a conversation last week regarding the ‘old days’ we had fishing Albion and Ft. Bragg for salmon and rockfish. As you probably know both these ports are located in Mendocino County... Full Story
Please respect your catch and the law By Gary Heffley
03/17/15 -- The state has set aside many waters to be managed as catch and release “Wild Trout Waters.” For some there is not enough and for some too many. The state also manages many waters as “put and take,” where those...Full Story
New Regs: Lingcod up; black rockfish down
Black and yellow ground fish photo courtesy of CA DFW
03/12/15 -- Anglers will be able to take three instead of two lingcod but only five black rockfish instead of 10 per day off California’s coast this season. Yesterday, the California Fish and Game Commission adopted these and other...Full Story
Fishing the Klamath below JC Boyle Dam
 Brian Buckingham with one of the larger fish from this section. This trout, estimated at 2 lbs., was caught near the BLM campground on the west shore six miles down the JC Boyle Dam on the Klamath River in Southern Oregon. Photo by author
By Trouteagle
03/02/15 -- Year round trout action can be found on the Klamath River within the 20 or so miles of free flow within Oregon and California. While fishing below the flumes at the JC Boyle powerhouse, it can be difficult to know just when...Full Story
Mt. Shasta free kids fishing days set
2 men with thier daughters on Free Fishing Day at Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery, photo by Gary Heffley
By, Gary Heffley
02/14/15 -- Three of my favorite days of the year are spent at the Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery volunteering at the California Department of Wildlife’s Free Kids Fishing Days. Monty Currier of the CDFW has announced that the free...Full Story
The Mystery of the Middle Fork, Part IV
Jim Broshears, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com
By Jim Broshears
11/10/14 -- This trip was to be the final chapter in the saga that began three years ago but is actually over 20 years in the making. As Bruce, Tuck and I journeyed back to the Middle Fork of the Feather River we made...Full Story
Climbing Terms for the Fisherman
Trailhead Tales by Jim Broshears
10/14/14 -- For those of us who prefer to fish the rugged and remote streams and rivers for the elusive wild trout, rock climbing is a skill that is required to reach the special places where catching the big one is a “sure thing.” The skills...Full Story
German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
german brown trout in Modoc creek. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
By Lea Huetteman
09/04/14 -- Catching a German Brown Trout from the creeks in Modoc County is a fine way to spend an afternoon. There are many creeks in this part of California that drain the Warner Mountains. Stream trout fishing in this region opens...Full Story
Throw the kitchen sink at them
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers, myoutdoorbuddy.com
Article and photos by Phil Akers
08/20/14 -- Our wilderness areas are special, where Mother Nature is landlord and natural forces operate freely. Within the wilderness you will find no roads, shelters, picnic tables, toilets, or other conveniences. You enter at...Full Story
Humboldt Bay: Busy port, excellent fishery
Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
03/06/04 -- Humboldt Bay, a busy commercial harbor and home port to many charter and private offshore fishing boats, is also popular with shore-based anglers and small boaters seeking bottomfish, sharks, crabs and clams...Full Story
Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
03/04/14 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] Living in the Sacramento River can be a risky business for juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). The young fish must swim through a gauntlet of water... Full Story
Not Just Any Fish
California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
02/14/13 -- Trout have inhabited California waters from the Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains to the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times. However, most of the trout caught by anglers are either hatchery raised fish...Full Story
Fishing with Phideaux
By Phil “Flip” Akers
01/26/14 -- Meet Phideaux, a 110-pound neurotic chocolate Lab. His name is pronounced “Fido” but it is spelled “Phideaux” because he is a Cajun dog. Anyway, last summer Phideaux took his human (that’s me) on a trout hunt up into...Full Story
A primer on fishing Lake Shasta By Gary Heffley
01/01/12 -- Shasta Lake draws more visitors to Shasta County than any other single attraction. While it is often a challenge to fish, it is more likely to produce stringers of fat trout or spotted bass. Trout to four and five pounds are caught here routinely...Full Story
Lake Oroville; 'tis the season By Chuck Giles
01/11/12 – Lake Oroville is probably one of the best lakes for sheer numbers of Spotted Bass in Northern California. This is not just on a seasonal basis, but year round. To start, I have a list of baits that produce decent results... Full Story

 

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